GMO

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On May 25th of this year over 2 million people in more that 50 countries around the world participated in a “March Say NO to GMOsAgainst Monsanto.” I participated in a local event here in Fargo and my friend, Robin Shreeves, wrote about the experience at Mother Nature Network.

The main purpose of the march was to educate people about Monsanto and genetically modified foods. And the momentum continues: “We are going to get involved heavily with the October 12 World Food Day,” said Nick Bernabe, March Against Monsanto’s Social Media Director.

While the details of the October event are still being worked out, the march organizers are helping promote the July 4 Moms Across America March, an event where citizens plan to march in local Independence Day parades nation-wide to show their support for GMO labeling.

Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says no more than 90 days of testing is needed to ensure GMOs safety for human consumption, independent studies of several years continue to make links to major health issues. The FDA’s Deputy Commissioner for Foods, Michael Taylor, a former Monsanto lawyer and Monsanto Vice President for Public Policy, the biggest producer of GMOs worldwide, continues to refute the studies. (Source: http://www.march-against-monsanto.com/)

To read the article, visit http://www.mnn.com/food/healthy-eating/blogs/green-blogger-wendy-gabriel-shares-her-march-against-monsanto-experience.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: EACH TUESDAY MY GREEN SIDE BRINGS SIMPLE TIPS FOR GREEN LIVING TO THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAMWE Say NO to GMOsALSO HIGHLIGHT A FAVORITE GREEN SITE EACH WEEK. YOU CAN STREAM THE SEGMENT AT APPROXIMATELY 1220PM (CENTRAL) EVERY TUESDAY AT WDAY.COM OR, IF YOU’RE IN NORTH DAKOTA OR WESTERN MINNESOTA, LISTEN ON YOUR RADIO AT AM970 WDAY.

GREEN TIP: Let your voice be heard. Tell the FDA and Congress that we want to have our food properly labeled. We all have a right to know if our food has been genetically altered. Visit JustLabelIt.org to TAKE ACTION.

We’ve talked before at My Green Side about how and why to avoid genetically engineered (GE) food.

Read more about GMOs at http://www.responsibletechnology.org/gmo-basics/the-ge-process.

We talked about how the buildup surrounding GM agriculture was that these new crops would be of increased nutritional value and would increase productivity. They would be able to grow in the desert and feed the worlds hungry. This, however, is not the reality. The only advantage goes to the companies selling the seeds. If you want to read a great article on the topic, visit civileats.com and read the view of author and food advocate Anna Lappe.

According to the Institute of Responsible Technology, “the two main traits that have been added to date are herbicide tolerance and the ability of the plant to produce its own pesticide. These results have no health benefit, only economic benefit.”

Jeffrey M. Smith, author of Seeds of Deception and Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods and blogger at Huffington Post, writes “Unless we want to wait until more studies are done, risking allergies and immune dysfunction, infertility, infant mortality, or poorer health inherited by the next generation, we will have to opt out of the GM food experiment. Without required labels, it isn’t simple.” And currently the U.S. doesn’t require GM foods to have labeling describing them as being genetically modified.

Children are especially susceptible to the effects of GM foods.No GMOs

Top Ten Genetically Engineered Food Crops from Healthy Child Healthy World

• Corn: Our number-one agricultural commodity. In 2000, 79.5 million acres of harvested cropland in the U.S. were corn, 25% of which was genetically engineered. This includes Bt and Roundup Ready corn varieties.

• Soy: The number-two U.S. agricultural commodity. Sixty percent of processed foods contain soy ingredients, and 82% of edible fats and oils consumed in the U.S. are soy-based. In 2000, 54% of the 74.5 million acres of soybeans grown in the U.S. was Roundup Ready soy.

• Potato: Currently, the only GE potato is a Burbank Russet variety, marketed under the name NewLeaf. This Bt-producing plant is lethal to the Colorado potato beetle – and possibly to beneficial insects.

• Tomato: The first GE tomato, the Flavr Savr, was introduced commercially in 1994, but flopped because it proved tasteless. Since then, other varieties, including a cherry tomato, have been genetically engineered to delay ripening and extend shelf life.

• Canola: Of the 15 million acres of canola grown in the U.S. and Canada annually, 35% is GE, mostly for herbicide-resistance.

• Cottonseed Oil: In 2000, 61% of the 15.5 million acres of cotton grown in the U.S. was genetically engineered. Every year, half a million tons of cottonseed oil makes its way into salad dressings, baked goods and snack foods. About 1.4 million tons of cottonseed meal is fed to livestock annually.

• Papaya: More than one third of Hawaiian papayas have been genetically engineered to withstand the papaya ringspot virus. Organic papaya growers in Hawaii worry that the pollen from GE papaya trees will contaminate their crops.

• Radicchio: Currently one variety of radicchio, called Seed Link, has been genetically engineered to be resistant to the herbicide glufosinate.

• Squash: Several varieties of summer squash have been genetically engineered to resist mosaic viruses. Some scientists are concerned that resistance to the virus may spread to weedy relatives, such as gourds, found in the U.S., creating invasive superweeds.

• Salmon: A company called Aqua Bounty has engineered a salmon with genes from two different fish species so that it grows much more quickly than non-GE salmon. The company now seeks FDA approval to market this fish for human consumption. Escaped into the environment, (which is inevitable on fish farms), the GE fish may be larger and more aggressive, eat more food, and mate more often, though their offspring are less fit to survive in the wild, raising the possibility of wild species extinction. Human health effects are also relatively unknown. Currently, research on transgenic strains of 35 fish species world-wide is underway.

Source: Healthy Child Healthy World

A New Concern – The “Frankenapple”

Organic Consumers Association recently wrote an article to inform the public about a new concern, the “Frankenapple.” “Thanks to the biotech industry’s relentless quest to control our food, McDonald’s, Burger King and even school cafeterias will soon be able to serve up apples that won’t turn brown when they’re sliced or bitten into. A new, almost entirely untested genetic modification technology, called RNA interference, or double strand RNA (dsRNA), is responsible for this new food miracle. Scientists warn that this genetic manipulation poses health risks, as the manipulated RNA gets into our digestive systems and bloodstreams. The biotech industry claims otherwise.

Like any non-organic apple, the new GMO Arctic® Apple will be drenched in toxic pesticide residues, untested by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and likely unlabeled. And of course these shiny new high-tech apples will cost less than a pesticide-free, nutrient-dense, old-fashioned organic apple that turns a little brown after you slice it up.

Unless we stop them, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will approve ‘Frankenapple’ this year.”

Read the complete article at http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_27376.cfm.

Download the Institute for Responsible Technology’s Non-GMO Shopping Guide to make sure you avoid foods made with genetically modified organisms.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:March Against Monsanto

Just Label It . org

The Just Label It campaign was created to advocate for the labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods. We have a right to know if our food has been genetically engineered. And studies show that more than 90% of Americans support mandatory labeling of GE foods.

There are many reasons why Americans want labeling of genetically engineered foods. For some it is due to health, safety or environmental concerns. For others, it is due to religious considerations. Still others believe that the right to know is a core American value. Whatever the reason, the vast majority of Americans believe that we have the right to know.

The Just Label It site gives you a way to contact the FDA and Congress to let your voice be heard when it comes to GMOs it also has a blog which keeps consumers up to date on the latest GMO news.

Visit http://justlabelit.org/ to find out more.

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Editor’s Note: Each Tuesday My Green Side brings Simple Tips for Green Living to The Christopher Gabriel ProgramWealso highlight a favorite green site each week. You can stream the segment at approximately 1220pm (central) every Tuesday at WDAY.com or, if you’re in North Dakota or western Minnesota, listen on your radio at AM970 WDAY.

GREEN TIP: Avoid genetically engineer food.

A GMO (genetically modified organism) is the result of a laboratory process where genes from the DNA of one species are extracted and artificially forced into the genes of an unrelated plant or animal. The foreign genes may come from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals or even humans. Because this involves the transfer of genes, GMOs are also known as “transgenic” organisms.

This process may be called either Genetic Engineering (GE) or Genetic Modification (GM); they are one and the same. Read more about GMOs at http://www.responsibletechnology.org/gmo-basics/the-ge-process.

The buildup surrounding GM agriculture was that these new crops would be of increased nutritional value and would increase productivity. They would be able to grow in the desert and feed the worlds hungry. This, however, is not the reality. The only advantage goes to the companies selling the seeds. If you want to read a great article on the topic, visit civileats.com and read the view of author and food advocate Anna Lappe.

According to the Institute of Responsible Technology, “the two main traits that have been added to date are herbicide tolerance and the ability of the plant to produce its own pesticide. These results have no health benefit, only economic benefit.”

Jeffrey M. Smith, author of Seeds of Deception and Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods and blogger at Huffington Post, writes “Unless we want to wait until more studies are done, risking allergies and immune dysfunction, infertility, infant mortality, or poorer health inherited by the next generation, we will have to opt out of the GM food experiment. Without required labels, it isn’t simple.” And currently the U.S. doesn’t require GM foods to have labeling describing them as being genetically modified.

Children are especially susceptible to the effects of GM foods.

Top Ten Genetically Engineered Food Crops from Healthy Child Healthy World

• Corn: Our number-one agricultural commodity. In 2000, 79.5 million acres of harvested cropland in the U.S. were corn, 25% of which was genetically engineered. This includes Bt and Roundup Ready corn varieties.

• Soy: The number-two U.S. agricultural commodity. Sixty percent of processed foods contain soy ingredients, and 82% of edible fats and oils consumed in the U.S. are soy-based. In 2000, 54% of the 74.5 million acres of soybeans grown in the U.S. was Roundup Ready soy.

• Potato: Currently, the only GE potato is a Burbank Russet variety, marketed under the name NewLeaf. This Bt-producing plant is lethal to the Colorado potato beetle – and possibly to beneficial insects.

• Tomato: The first GE tomato, the Flavr Savr, was introduced commercially in 1994, but flopped because it proved tasteless. Since then, other varieties, including a cherry tomato, have been genetically engineered to delay ripening and extend shelf life.

• Canola: Of the 15 million acres of canola grown in the U.S. and Canada annually, 35% is GE, mostly for herbicide-resistance.

• Cottonseed Oil: In 2000, 61% of the 15.5 million acres of cotton grown in the U.S. was genetically engineered. Every year, half a million tons of cottonseed oil makes its way into salad dressings, baked goods and snack foods. About 1.4 million tons of cottonseed meal is fed to livestock annually.

• Papaya: More than one third of Hawaiian papayas have been genetically engineered to withstand the papaya ringspot virus. Organic papaya growers in Hawaii worry that the pollen from GE papaya trees will contaminate their crops.

• Radicchio: Currently one variety of radicchio, called Seed Link, has been genetically engineered to be resistant to the herbicide glufosinate.

• Squash: Several varieties of summer squash have been genetically engineered to resist mosaic viruses. Some scientists are concerned that resistance to the virus may spread to weedy relatives, such as gourds, found in the U.S., creating invasive superweeds.

• Salmon: A company called Aqua Bounty has engineered a salmon with genes from two different fish species so that it grows much more quickly than non-GE salmon. The company now seeks FDA approval to market this fish for human consumption. Escaped into the environment, (which is inevitable on fish farms), the GE fish may be larger and more aggressive, eat more food, and mate more often, though their offspring are less fit to survive in the wild, raising the possibility of wild species extinction. Human health effects are also relatively unknown. Currently, research on transgenic strains of 35 fish species world-wide is underway.

Source: Healthy Child Healthy World

Download the Institute for Responsible Technology’s Non-GMO Shopping Guide to make sure you avoid foods made with genetically modified organisms.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Non-GMO Project

The Non-GMO Project, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, offers North America’s only third party verification and labeling for non-GMO food and products. They are committed to preserving and building sources of non-GMO products, educating consumers, and providing verified non-GMO choices.

 

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Editor’s Note: Each Wednesday My Green Side brings Simple Tips for Green Living to The Christopher Gabriel Program. We also highlight a favorite green site each week. You can stream the segment at approximately 1220pm (central) every Wednesday at WDAY.com or, if you’re in North Dakota or western Minnesota, listen on your radio at AM970 WDAY.

GREEN TIP: Avoid genetically engineered food. Until further testing has been done, the impacts to our food supply, human and environmental health are not clearly known.

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) held public hearings to determine the introduction of AquaBounty Technologies’ Transgenic salmon into our food supply. The FDA panel questioned some of the data submitted by AquaBounty, including the small sample size represented in its findings and the potential for allergic reactions (fish as a food group inherently contain a high level of allergens).

Consumer advocates are united with salmon farmers and fisherman in their shout out against the production of genetically engineered (GE) fish until independent tests prove the fish are safe for the food supply, the environment, and safe for human consumption.

Are we going to allow more sketchy food into our food supply that hasn’t been adequately tested?

One (of many) concerns is the presence of iGF-1, a growth hormone linked to an increased risk of cancer, in this fast growing test tube fish.

The FDA panel has not reached a conclusion. The next step is an environmental assessment and a 30-day period for the public to voice their comments. If approved, the first GE salmon could be in the grocery store in two years. Under FDA guidelines for food labels, the salmon you buy will not require a label stating it is GE in origin.

AquaBounty is against mandatory labeling sighting it as unfair and costly. Elliot Entis, AquaBounties founder, would support voluntary labeling by producers who want to communicate that their fish was not GE. Place the cost and burden for the label on the guy supplying nature’s fish? Fair?

Besides the cost of voluntary labeling, AquaBounties fear is the GE label would be read like a warning. Other critics of mandatory labeling imply labels are too confusing to consumers. Source: Phoenix News Times

Don’t we deserve to know where are food comes from and how it’s produced?

I also think there’s also an ethical piece to this issue. Even though we can, should we make changes to nature that aren’t natural?

Children are especially susceptible to the effects of GM foods.

Download the Institute for Responsible Technology’s Non-GMO Shopping Guide to make sure you avoid foods made with genetically modified organisms.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Food & Water Watch
Food & Water Watch works to ensure the food, water and fish we consume is safe, accessible and sustainable. So we can all enjoy and trust in what we eat and drink, they help people take charge of where their food comes from, keep clean, affordable, public tap water flowing freely to our homes, protect the environmental quality of oceans, force government to do its job protecting citizens, and educate about the importance of keeping shared resources under public control.

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